The cranes are working and the steel frames are going up at the Promenade Corporate Center, slated to serve as the bustling "Gateway to Scottsdale.’’
The second phase of The Pederson Group’s $125 million development is on its way to house a Frank Lloyd Wright community building, two office towers, upscale shopping, more restaurants and a Wrightdesigned 125-foot spire near the intersection of Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and Scottsdale Road.
"It’ll be lit up and it’s really going to be a distinguishing feature right there on the corner,’’ said Jim Pederson, president the Phoenix-based firm.
The spire, initially intended by Wright for the Arizona Capitol, will be the first structure completed on the site. It is being fabricated at Shell Steel in Phoenix and is scheduled for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in March.
"From a design point of view, it’s really the gateway into the city. I mean you have Phoenix on one side and Scottsdale on the other,’’ Pederson said. "And this is what the city wanted us to do. They wanted a statement right there at the corner and you know that would provide that gateway.’’
Already at the 87-acre tract is the nation’s first Fox Sports Grill, Nordstrom Rack, Krispy Kreme, Trader Joe’s, In-N-Out Burger and other shops and eateries totaling 700,000 square feet.
Pederson plans to increase that by 300,000 square feet at the vacant fenced-off corner. The corporate center will include:
• 200,000-square-feet office space in two four-story towers.
• 100,000-square-feet specialty retail including high-end shops and three restaurants.
• 500-spot parking garage, one level underground and two above, plus additional surface parking around the development.
The community building will house a Wright library, a Desert Sonoran Land Trust interpretive center, and offices for the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce, the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Scottsdale Historical Society, Pederson said.
"We haven’t finalized all of that yet, but that’s our hope,’’ he said.
The outer shell of one restaurant, next to Bank of America, is nearly complete. It is scheduled for Benihana, a Japanese hibachi house. Other eateries will include a steak house and Maggiano’s Little Italy. Maggiano’s and Benihana have other locations nationwide.
The retail part of the project will be completed before the 2004 holiday season and the towers shortly after that, Pederson said.
"It’s not going to be a Kierland, but more of an upscale kind of retail,’’ he said. "I compare it to Biltmore.’’
Kierland Commons on the west side of Scottsdale Road in Phoenix, just south of the Promenade, is another open-air plaza with an oldtime Main Street theme. Its tenants include Crate & Barrel, Victoria’s Secret, and Barnes & Noble.
Biltmore Fashion Park in Phoenix is an open-air shopping plaza designed to appeal to the affluent shopper with stores such as Gucci, Saks Fifth Avenue, Cartier and Ralph Lauren. "Celebration of the Desert" is the theme for the office complex which will feature "critter columns’’ in between the identical buildings. The columns will be topped with bronze statuettes of coyotes, birds, snakes and javelinas and fountains will be installed.
"We get so many tourists in that part of town and we want to try to educate people about the Sonoran Desert,’’ he said. "It contains a lot of life. Plant life and animal life that many visitors really don’t come into contact with so it will be interpretive.’’